Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famed Hindu temples devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated on the bank of the holy river Ganga. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara which means The Ruler of The Universe. The temple is popularly called Kashi Vishvanath Temple, Vishwanath was the name of a preacher who jumped into a well with the Shivling when it was invaded by vanquishers.
The temple’s structure consists of a sequence of smaller temples, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli located near to the river. The linga of the main divine being at the shrine is 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference in a silver sanctum. The main temple is quadrangle and is encircled by temples of other gods. There are small shrines for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the whole structure. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi also known the as Gyaan Vapi which means the well of wisdom. The Jnana Vapi well faces to the north of the main temple and it is believed that the Shivling was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion by the invaders. It is said, the main priest that is Vishwanath, jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect it from the invaders, as mentioned above.
As conforming to the composition of the temple, there is a Sabha Griha or Congregation Hall that leads inside to the Garbha Griha or Sanctum Sanctorum. The dignified Shivling is a dark brown coloured stone which is idolised in the Garbha Griha, placed on a silver pulpit. Structure of the Temple is collected of three parts. The first accommodates as a steeple on the Temple of Lord Mahadeva. The second is a gold arched ceiling and the third is the gold steeple on top of Lord Mahadeva carrying a flag and a trishool.
There are about 3,000 visitors every day to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. On certain occasions majorly festivals the number of visitors reaches up to 1,000,000 and more. The notable thing about the temple is that it is 15.5 meters high with a gold spire and a gold dome. There are three domes constructed each made up of pure gold.
The temple has been destroyed and re-constructed multiple times in history. The last structure was demolished by Aurangzeb, a Mughal emperor who constructed a Mosque on its site. The current structure is built on an adjacent site by a Maratha ruler named Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore.
There is a popular culture that one should abandon at least one desire after a crusade to the temple and the crusade would also consist a visit to the Temple at Rameshwaram located in Tamil Nadu in South India, this is where people take samples of water from the Ganges to perform a ritual at the temple and come back with some sand from near that temple, because of the prodigious popularity and holiness of Kashi Vishwanath temple, hundreds of temples across India have been constructed in the same architectural pattern. Many legends record that the true and faithful believers achieve freedom from death by the adoration of Lord Shiva, Shiva's believers on their death are directly taken to his crib on Mount Kailash by his messengers and not to Yama. The supremacy of Lord Shiva and his victory over his own nature, Lord Shiva is himself configured with death. There is a popular belief that Shiva himself speaks the spells of salvation into the ears of people who die naturally at Vishwanath Temple
There are 5 aartis of the temple done there, they are as follows:
. Mangala Aarti :- 3.00 - 4.00 (Morning).
. Bhoga Aarti:- 11.15 to 12.20 (Day).
. Sandhya Aarti:- 7.00 to 8.15 (Evening).
. Shringara Aarti:- 9.00 to 10.15 (Night).
. Shayana Aarti:- 10.30-11.00 (Night).